Following table describes the differences between FTP and TFTP.
|File Transfer Protocol
|Trivial File Transfer Protocol
|Transport Layer Protocol (Layer 4)
|TCP (Connection oriented and reliable protocol)
|UDP (Connection-less and less reliable protocol, but much faster than TCP)
|Network Layer Protocol (Layer 3)
|IPv4 or IPv6
|IPv4 or IPv6
|TCP Ports 20 (Data) and 21 (Control)
|Authentication is possible
|Authentication is not possible
|FTP is more complex than TFTP
|TFTP is less complex than FTP
|FTP has many commands for file operations
|TFTP has only five messages
|Since more complex, FTP Client and Server software size is more
|Since less complex, TFTP Client and Server software size is less compared with FTP
|Since FTP uses TCP, network connection errors (lost packets, checksum errors etc) are handled by TCP. TCP is a reliable protocol.
|Since TFTP uses UDP, connection errors are handled by (lost packets, checksum errors etc) are handled by the TFTP software itself. UDP is not a reliable protocol.
|Authentication is possible in FTP. Hence, FTP is considered more secure than TFTP.
|There is no authentication possible in TFTP. Hence, TFTP is considered less secure than FTP.
|FTP is used for file transfer in LAN, intranet and internet.
|TFTP is mainly used for network booting and copying OS and configuration files from routers and switches, typically within LAN.